Recipe: Cape Cod Scones

It’s said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  And I really have no reason to argue with that.  I can see that by not having breakfast, I sometimes want to compensate when I eat lunch.  I do my best to at least have a piece of fruit or a handful of granola.  But here’s the thing: I really don’t like most breakfast foods.

I know I’m not the only one out there who feels this way, but sometimes it seems as though I’m the lone breakfast hater in this world.  I just don’t get much satisfaction out of eating a bowl of cereal or a stack of pancakes (though the latter I will make from time to time). 

With that being said, I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoy baking muffins and scones.  I love the way they can be adapted for every season.  To me, there’s nothing like sitting outside on the deck with a cup of coffee, a newspaper (preferably the New York Times… sorry Bostonians), and a scone.  In fact, this has become a ritual for us the weekends we are on the Cape. 

Over the past month, I’ve gone through the same process.  Every Saturday, I wake up at 7, take the pup out so she can do what she needs to do, pick up the papers, and get back to the house to whip up a batch of scones.  

Now, there is one book I always go to for breakfast recipes and that is Lora Brody’s The Cape Cod Table.   This is a wonderful cookbook and I’ve used it, and her many others, quite frequently (see: Hearts of Darkness and Blueberry Muffins).  The personal anecdotes in her book not only make you want to eat the food she writes about, but it makes you think about the presence of food in your own life.  

The recipes in the first chapter have almost converted me into becoming a breakfast lover: The Best Blueberry Muffins, Scrambled Eggs with Lox, Onions, and Peppers, and Strawberries and Cream French Toast.  And then there’s the very first recipe in the book… Cape Cod Scones.  

These scones are perfection; crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside.  No matter what your preference is, whether it be blueberries or cranberries, fresh or dried, I highly recommend using this recipe as your base.  They aren’t overly sweet, like so many scones can be, and there is actually a lot less butter in this recipe than most of the ones I came across online.  

It should be noted that I did alter this recipe to incorporate the fresh (frozen) cranberries and the grapefruit zest we had in the house. While the cranberries are tart, this balanced quite nicely with the sweetness from the scone.  The zest was subtle and was noticeable towards the end of each bite.

Again, whatever you end up doing, this is a terrific recipe and I hope you all enjoy it over the holiday weekend.   

Cape Cod Scones
(altered from the recipe in Lora Brody’s The Cape Cod Table)
Makes 12 scones

A note on this recipe: the only thing I altered was that, instead of using dried cranberries, I used fresh (that had been frozen), and I added some grapefruit zest.

2 cups all-purpose flour, measured after sifting
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup berries, cranberries (fresh, frozen, or, if you prefer, dried)
zest of 1/2 red grapefruit
1 1/4 cups heavy cream (though I used a little less and cut it with some milk)
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Coarse sugar for sprinkling on tops

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with the rack in the center position.  The scones will bake on an ungreased heavy-duty baking sheet.  Into a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Use table fork to mix well.  If you are adding dried berries (or fresh), stir them in at this point.  Dribble the cream over the dry ingredients while mixing with the fork.  Continue mixing gently just as until the mixture forms a rough, sticky ball of dough.  Add the grapefruit zest and mix to fully incorporate into dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, sprinkle lightly with flour, and knead 10 times by pushing the half closer to you down and away from you with the heel of your hand and folding it back over itself, giving it a quarter turn each time.

Pat the dough into a 9-inch disk.  Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar.  Use a long knife to cut the dough into 12 wedges and transfer each onto the baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between them.  Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • June 30, 2010 - 12:33 pm

    bunkycooks - Your scones truly are perfection! My hubby swears by a recipe that he has, but I will definitely have to make these over the weekend! I agree that there is nothing better in the morning than a cup of coffee, a fresh scone and a newspaper. I used to spend many mornings just that way in Boston and I miss it!ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2010 - 2:18 pm

    Tracy - These look really good. I'm wondering, how do you think buttermilk in place of the heavy cream would do? I have never made scones. Love the fact that this uses so little butter…so if I can get away with something other than heavy cream. Maybe I'll just try. Thanks for the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2010 - 2:40 pm

    A Thought For Food - Tracy, you can definitely use buttermilk in this recipe. In fact, I didn't have enough heavy cream, so I cut it with milk. Came out just fine…

    Might as well try it and see what happens. :-)

    Thanks for commenting!ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2010 - 4:19 pm

    Missi - You have just transported me to your porch with your post. There is nothing more perfect than a newspaper, scone, and (for me) tea on a warming summer morning…

    I have been dying to make scones with a bunch of blueberries that I just picked up and found a recipe from one of my Alice Waters cookbooks that is almost identical to yours!

    I was also wondering if I could cut the heavy cream with milk or use milk all together… so now I know I can try them the way you did and see how they come out!

    Thanks for sharing! And for reading my mind.ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2010 - 4:38 pm

    Monet - Brian
    These look like they would melt in my mouth. I have never made scones (shocking, I know), and I've been waiting for you to post this recipe. I am going to make these tomorrow, and blog about them over the weekend. Do you mind? I will, of course, make due mention of their original creator. I hope you have a beautiful day!ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2010 - 5:41 pm

    Sarah @ Semi-Sweet - These are beautiful! What a great base to riff off of . . . thinking mixed berries – or your grapefruit zest got me on a citrus roll . . . will have to try these! Dunno where you are on the Cape, but if you want to *buy* your baked goods one day (the horror!), our favorite place is the Cottage St. bakery in Orleans. Great scones, and their "dirt bombs" (a nutmeg muffin that's dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar) are TO.DIE.FOR.ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2010 - 7:00 pm

    A Thought For Food - Sarah,

    Funny you should mention that…. the recipe for the Cottage St. "dirt bombs" is in The Cape Cod Table. I'll have to try them out at some point. :-)ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2010 - 7:04 pm

    The Domestic Adventurer - Scones are my #1 favorite breakfast food. I used to make them weekly but a while ago decided I should branch out into baking other things as well. Your addition of fresh cranberries is a good one. I almost always prefer fresh to dried.

    I stumbled upon your blog today. I'll definitely be back. Well done.ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2010 - 8:00 pm

    Andrew Frishman - Mnnmnnnmmmnnn!. . . I loves me some scones. . . especially when they've got lots of cod in them!ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2010 - 8:44 pm

    Angela - Your photos are always so beautiful. And these scones look amazing – I'm not usually a fan of sweet stuff, but I could go for these in a big way!ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2010 - 9:27 pm

    Jackie - Mhm, Brian these look wonderful! I'm not a fan of breakfast foods either, nor am I ever hungry in the morning, but for these scones I may have to make an exception…

    Also, isn't it interesting that what Americans call scones are not the kind of scones I grew up with in the UK? Ours are more like biscuits and the only fruit they ever have in them are raisins… but I don't think those are REAL scones. Real scones must be consumed with clotted cream and strawberry jam and only in the summer. Or in the pouring rain in a little English town… at least that's my experience of them!

    Jax xReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2010 - 9:46 pm

    Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle - These look beautiful and delicious and should I even admit I've never made scones? I'll not soon be in the English countryside and raisins are OK but cranberries better so this works for me. Only cranberries I have on hand though were used to make cranberry liqueur so am contemplating dried cherries..yeah, that's it!ReplyCancel

  • June 30, 2010 - 11:32 pm

    Cristina - Teenie Cakes - From your scone images, the texture looks wonderful and just overall these are delicious looking scones. I look forward to trying your recipe. =)ReplyCancel

  • July 1, 2010 - 12:20 am

    baking.serendipity - These look and sound delicious! I also love that there's a little less butter and you cut the cream with some milk. Have you tried using fat free half and half ever? It sounds somewhat contradictory, but I think it works really well.ReplyCancel

  • July 1, 2010 - 3:49 am

    Joanne - Do you know how many more bags of cranberries I have in the freezer? That are absolutely begging for me to make this? Many I tell you. Many.

    I'm totally a morning person and I love a good scone. The way you described these kinda sorta makes me want to make them NOW.

    And I'm a NY Times girl myself. :)ReplyCancel

  • July 1, 2010 - 6:31 am

    The Food Apprecianado - So I do love breakfast. And I love scones. I think they are my favorite breakfast starch. Except maybe hash browns, or croissants, or… Oh, who am I kidding? I cannot wait to whip up a batch of your fantastic looking treats!ReplyCancel

  • July 2, 2010 - 4:39 am

    Angie's Recipes - I love breakfast. .these berry scones have me wish 3 breakfasts a day! They look simply irresistible!ReplyCancel

  • July 2, 2010 - 4:49 am

    Liren - Brian, your scones erase from memory any hockey-puck-sad-excuse-for-a-scone-I-ever ate! I adore scones, but they must be done right, and these certainly are. I'm also a huge breakfast believer – without it, I'm not quite human, and I think that for tomorrow, I would like a scone for breakfast with my coffee!ReplyCancel

  • July 3, 2010 - 7:14 am

    hannah - wow. i need to make these. thanks for the add at foodbuzz. its 9 in the morning now – and i would love to have one. But i am going to keep them stuck in my mind until I can get fresh cranberries here.ReplyCancel

  • July 5, 2010 - 1:23 am

    Lynn - Yum! I've been thinking about making scones with some cinnamon or cardamom in them, I think I'll use your recipe as a base. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2010 - 2:38 am

    Shirley - Healthy breakfast foods don't do it for me… no oatmeal and granola, please! These scones, on the other hand, fit the bill perfectly. They look so beautiful and flaky!ReplyCancel

  • October 5, 2010 - 12:42 am

    Kim - These look so darn good! The colors pop right out of the page. Great post!ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *